It is no news that smoking isn’t beneficial for anyone’s health. It’s way way harmful. You have seen it on cigarette packages, heard it from doctors, seen it on TV and so on. There is no denying that the damage is there, but when you club smoking with diabetes, imagine the intensity of this damage. 

If you have diabetes, quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and for managing your diabetes. In this blog, let’s examine how smoking can worsen both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and what you can do to stop smoking.

What effects does smoking have on diabetics?

Smoking raises your risk of developing complications from diabetes. Your body may react less favourably to insulin and your diabetes medicine as a result. These are nine health effects of smoking on diabetics:

Makes inflammation worse

The body becomes more inflammatory when one smokes. Uncontrolled inflammation throughout the body damages your tissue and cells. This will exacerbate diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease over time. Additionally, inflammation raises your chance of several cancers and other illnesses including heart attacks.

Increases blood sugar

The most crucial thing you can do to be healthy if you have diabetes is to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Blood sugar rises when you smoke. Smokers with diabetes find it far more difficult to control their blood sugar. Additionally, they struggle harder to discover the ideal drug combo for blood sugar control. The longer your blood sugar is high, the greater the chance that diabetes will cause major health issues.

Increases insulin resistance

Insulin resistance is when your body is not responding to insulin as it should. Insulin resistance is a result of cigarettes’ dangerous ingredients. You can get more insulin-resistant the more you smoke. This is a double-edged sword because smoking raises blood sugar levels on its own. Extra blood sugar is already being processed by your body. Then, it is unable to regulate blood sugar using insulin, its most effective tool. 

Increases blood pressure

Research indicates that individuals with diabetes and tobacco use are significantly more susceptible to inflammatory blood vessel injury. When blood vessels are injured, they become rigid. High blood pressure is the result of this rigidity.

If you have high blood pressure, you will need to change your diet and take additional medicine to stay well. In addition, high blood pressure raises your risk of stroke, renal disease, and heart disease.

Causes cardiac problems

Chemicals in cigarettes aggravate diabetes and raise blood pressure. Heart disease can be caused by either of these factors. Heart failure, angina, and heart attacks are examples of heart illness.

In addition, smoking raises your risk of high cholesterol and coronary heart disease. Smoking lowers your levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and raises your levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). High cholesterol eventually raises the chance of developing heart disease as well.

Harms the kidneys

The high levels of nicotine from smoking cigarettes can cause damage to the blood vessels and raise blood sugar levels. Damage to blood arteries impairs the function of your kidneys. You run the risk of developing diabetic kidney disease, which is a kind of chronic kidney disease.

Worsens vision

Studies show nicotine, the active chemical in cigarettes, can also raise your chances of diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma, three conditions that affect the eyes. There may be no treatment for some of these eye disorders, which puts you at risk for low vision and long-term vision abnormalities.

Causes inadequate blood flow

Damaged blood arteries scar over time. This causes poor circulation by making it more difficult for blood to pass through them. You have a higher risk of ulcers and infections if you have poor circulation in your feet and legs. Diabetes-related amputations are primarily caused by poor circulation and infections.

Damages nerves

Inflammation and elevated blood sugar levels harm not only blood vessels but also your nerves. Your hands, legs, and feet may experience pain, numbness, or tingling as a result of this nerve injury.

Diabetic neuropathy can cause discomfort and make going about your everyday business difficult. Although you can manage your neuropathy symptoms with medicines, there is no known cure for it.

Closing thoughts

Smoking increases blood sugar, which exacerbates diabetes and makes medication management more difficult. Diabetes increases a person’s risk of kidney, eye, and cardiac problems. Smoking further raises that danger.

The good news is that giving up smoking will help you decrease inflammation. Your blood sugar levels and insulin responsiveness will improve in a matter of weeks. You have a lower chance of developing complications from diabetes if your blood sugar is under control. And for the remainder of your life, your risk remains lower.

According to studies, by giving up smoking, anyone can increase their life expectancy, especially individuals who have diabetes. 

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